PHOTO: Europe turns “green” for Norwegians – queues and traffic chaos reported

Gardermoen queuePhoto: Hanna Johre / NTB

Norwegians who wanted to travel have been eager to pack their bags for months. On Monday, long flight and car queues were reported after the new travel rules came into force.

On Monday, there were long check-in queues at Oslo Airport already at 6:30 AM, according to the newspaper Dagbladet.

“The queues seem longer than they are because people keep their distance,” Avinor’s communications manager Gurli Ulverud told NTB at 9 AM on Monday.

“Multiple people missed their flights due to queues”

European Insurance has received a significant increase in inquiries from travelers going abroad.

“Now there is a lot of queues and delays at airports, which means that customers are missing their flights,” the company’s communications director Andreas Handeland noted.

According to Handeland, such instances are not covered by travel insurance because they are announced in advance.

A number of countries in Europe became “green” for Norway on July 5. However, even if travelers from these countries do not need to get quarantined when they come to Norway, different rules apply in European countries.

Several airlines now insist on manual check-ins to ensure that travelers have everything in order to be able to enter the country they are traveling to.

Sharp increase in travelers expected

Avinor estimates that there will be at most 45,000 passengers to and from Oslo Airport in July per day. In June, there were at most 10,000 travelers per day.

However, the July estimate is far from what was normal before the corona pandemic. Before corona, there were over 100,000 travelers per day in July.

Airport director Stine Ramstad Westby at Oslo Airport told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that they are expecting more than 30,000 passengers on Monday.

As of Monday, July 5, the Norwegian entry restrictions and quarantine rules are based on the same thresholds ​​as in the EU. That allows travel to a number of more countries without triggering entry quarantine upon return to Norway. Photo: Hanna Johre / NTB

Border crossings

At the border at Svinesund, the police noticed that the new rules came into force. While they usually have one car per minute passing at midnight, there was a half-hour queue on Monday night.

“There were people who had not realized that they were on the highway and parked the cars to wait for midnight. We got real traffic chaos,” Jørgen Utne at the border control at Svinesund told newspaper Halden Arbeiderblad.

The police emphasized that even those with a green corona certificate must pass border control.

“We receive reports that fully vaccinated people who want a quick trip over to Sweden choose border crossings that are not legal to avoid waiting in line when they return to Norway. They believe that they are exempt from control due to the corona certificate. That is not the case,” chief of staff Lars Aune in the Police Directorate noted in a press release.

There was chaos also traffic chaos in Troms at the border with Finland, with several kilometers long queues from the checkpoint at Persskogen.

Expecting a large influx of Norwegians

The Western Sweden Tourist Board expects a large influx of Norwegians on a spontaneous holiday to Sweden. In 2019, Norwegians accounted for a total of 1.2 million guest overnight stays, or around one in four foreign tourists in the region.

Director Fredrik Lindén expects both increased cross-border trade and a significant influx of Norwegian tourists on holiday in July and August.

“A car trip across the border to Sweden does not require long preparations and is probably the easiest way to go on holiday abroad this summer,” Lindén said.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayTravel

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